Every parent whose kids went to a midnight premiere of the new Batman movie had to feel a chill Friday morning when news bulletins of the shootings in Aurora, Colo., greeted them at breakfast. This time, senseless mayhem left a dozen dead and many injured.
President Barack Obama said he was shocked by the shootings. He shouldn't be. Mass killings are becoming all too routine in the United States. This horror could have happened at anywhere. We have had our own shooting sprees, most recently at Oikos University in Oakland.
The sad fact is that America is doing next to nothing to curb gun violence.
Obama promised to develop a new approach to gun safety after the 2009 attack on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson. But the president has been remarkably silent on the issue ever since.
Republican contender Mitt Romney, who once advocated some gun control measures, now professes to be a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and seems likely to push for fewer limits on firearms.
But there's another dimension to this challenge. Very little is known about the alleged shooter, 24-year-old James Holmes, but it is a safe bet he was suffering from some sort of mental illness to go on this sort of rampage. Yet states, including California, persist in cutting mental health programs that can help the mentally ill curb violent tendencies.
Tougher gun control laws or better mental health programs might not have prevented the
Something is gravely wrong in America when we stop seeking objective evidence to help remedy a growing public safety matter. When the grief over the Aurora victims has abated, we must not forget them and go back to business as usual until the next gunman strikes. And the next.